* Check around the edge of the glass for damage to the surrounding body work. Any problems that affect the seal of the glass to the body can weaken structural integrity and should be repaired.
* Check the windshield wipers to make sure the rubber blades are soft and pliable. Hard, brittle or damaged blades can break and allow the metal wiper arm to scratch the glass.
If your windshield is not up to par, and you need to replace it, don't bargain hunt. The lowest possible price should not be a primary consideration when having a windshield replaced. Instead, look for a top-quality professional installation that will maintain the structural integrity and other safety features built into your vehicle at the factory.
Ask the service providers if they have National Glass Association (NGA)-certified technicians, endorse and adhere to the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS), use OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer)-quality glass for replacement, and use the manufacturers' recommended urethane adhesives.
It is also important to watch the installation process. See if the technician checks for a front passenger-side air bag and makes appropriate accommodations if present; removes the old windshield sealant and leaves approximately one-sixteenth of an inch of bonding surface; wears latex or nitrile gloves to avoid contaminating the bonding surfaces; and cleans and primes both the glass and vehicle body in the areas where the urethane adhesive makes contact.
If you are seeking a qualified facility to repair or replace your windshield, visit www.myautoglass.org, the Web site of the Coalition for Auto Glass Safety and Public Awareness.